What are reading comprehension strategies?
The purpose of reading is to construct meaning from text. Decoding a word (i.e., sounding it out or memorizing it) is only part of the equation. The deeper goal is always understanding. Reading comprehension strategies are research-identified behaviors that good readers possess. Our goal is to explicitly teach these strategies to young readers so they are not trying to simply read words, but also understand that words convey information, ideas, or a story. There are simple ways you can use and reinforce these strategies at home when reading with your children.
How can I read "just right" books at home with my child?
1. Look at the cover of the book and read the title. If they have not read it before, predict what the book might be about.
2. Do a “picture walk”. Flip through pages and talk about what is happening in each picture.
3. Go back and read together. Make sure they are pointing to each word as they read.
4. After reading the book go back and discuss the story. Here are some guiding questions/ideas:
- Does this remind you of anything? (Making connections)
- Was your prediction that you made before the story right?
- Have you ever…? (Make a connection to personal experience)
- What do you think will happen next? (Predicting)
- Can you find the word “and” on page 3? (Word level practice)
- How did you know that was the word “and”? (Reflecting on reading strategies they know and use)
- Now that we’ve finished…tell me what happened. (Retell)
- I wonder….(asking questions)
- How did you figure out that hard word? (Reflecting on thinking)
- Talk me through what you were thinking.
- What clues did you use to help you? (picture clues, first letter sound, it makes sense, etc.)
What do I do when my child gets to a tricky word?
Look at the picture.
Say the beginning sound.
Go back to the beginning of the sentence and reread.
Try a word (if they are still stuck)
~Does it make sense?
~Does it sound right?
~Does it look right?